Although there are many betrayals, some that resulted in breakup of the country, sale of Pakistan’s Eastern rivers and massive corruption by successive rulers like the sordid story of IPP’s and RPP’s, but the mother of all betrayals is the unmitigated wastage of our water resources. For more than four decades, there has been a steady deterioration of water resources, from 5000 cubic meters per capita at the time of independence, to a marginal 1500 cubic meters per capita at present.

There have also been failures from all the pillars of government, which share the ultimate responsibility of non-construction of any mega hydroelectric dam in the past four decades. The sad story of Kalabagh dam is in front of us. It is a joke that the KP Chief Minister said that there would be no objection to building KBD if no city of KP would drown. The Chief Minister is blissfully unaware of the views of eminent engineers such as Shamsul-Mulk, the Former Chief Minister, as well as the Chairman of WAPDA, belonging to Nowshehra; the city that many have claimed would drown if KBD was built.

Our Apex Court has a petition pending for the last 14 years, to call for referendum on KBD, keeping the issue in suspension. The end result of this historic betrayal is that the irrigated area of Pakistan has shrunk by four per cent while the human population grows at a higher rate. Providence may forgive individuals, but mistakes committed at the national level are never forgiven, and result in the destruction of a nation. If we do not wake up, our story would not be told in the annals of history, as we would have been tried and found inept.

DR. MUHAMMAD YAQOOB BHATTI,

Lahore, May 20.